Packaging Automation’s willingness to hire out equipment has been praised by a longstanding customer who has chosen this route to reduce the risk that can be involved in a new product launch.
Lyons Seafood chose to hire a semiautomatic PA182MAP-F machine to launch a new range of marinated prawns which are sold in retailers' stores throughout the UK.
Like many other Packaging Automation customers, Lyons is enjoying the benefits of hiring rather than buying outright. In Australia, Packaging Automation equipment is distributed by MPI.
After dealing with Packaging Automation over a period of four years, Lyons manufacturing director Graham Jelfs was happy to return to them when the company needed a machine to launch the new 120g modified atmosphere prawn packs.
He said: "We have a good relationship with Packaging Automation and have always liked their approach as well as the level of service they give. They combine this with machinery which does what we need it to do. The PA182MAP-F we are using is robust, simple and, in production terms, delivers the throughput we need for a low cost capital outlay."
Jelfs added: "This machine is able to produce the quality we need and is comparable to what can be achieved on larger, more complex machines. The ability to hire means that we minimise risk when launching new products. And the straightforward design means that when we need to change something it is a relatively easy process."
Lyons was impressed not only by the machine, but by Packaging Automation's speed of response when a modification to the top of the pack meant new tooling was needed quickly.
The swift response meant that Lyons was able to keep the project on schedule and impress its customer.
The capacity of the machine to pack in a modified atmosphere is clearly another benefit particularly with prawns where the extended shelf life that can be achieved means reduced wastage and enhanced product presentation.
MAP-F is capable of achieving less than 1% residual. It can accommodate nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen gas mixes.
The MAP-F tooling incorporates the leading technology in flushing to ensure low residuals with the minimum amount of gas used.
For many of the reasons highlighted by Jelfs, the PA182 is popular throughout the food industry. Robust construction, ease of use, reliability and flexibility are all key factors in its success.
The PA 182 accommodates trays up to 100mm in depth as standard, and can seal and trim film from a reel onto trays of numerous materials including CPET, polypropylene, PVC, board and foil.
The hygienic design eliminates bug traps and tool changes can be carried out in just two minutes while its compact design minimises the space required, allowing it to be easily moved to accommodate changes in production.
Packaging Automation sales engineer Jonathan Mildred said: "Time and again customers are responding very favourably to our hire deals, especially in situations like this where new products are being launched. This facility has also proved popular with small companies or those with seasonal product lines who do not want to commit to outright purchase."